The field of medical transcription and healthcare administration is growing at a steady pace, and you may have wondered, what does a medical transcriptionist do? Medical transcriptionists are primarily responsible for transcribing recorded dictations into formal reports and documents. They need to know medical terminology and have extensive skills using the latest computer programs, software programs and digital equipment for creating accurate and professional reports. Most medical transcriptionists work from home and may be employed by a medical transcription company, or hired as independent contractors to work with private clinics, physicians and hospitals.

What Are the Tasks of a Medical Transcriptionist?

You can find a wealth of information about medical transcription job duties and responsibilities on job boards that list open positions in this field. You can also contact hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations that hire medical transcriptionists to find out what medical transcription jobs entail. Specific duties and responsibilities will vary by employer and even by location. If you are working from home, you may be required to attend an in-person training session or meet with your employer or client for a briefing before you are assigned to work with the account. If you are working with a medical transcription company, you may be responsible for attending meetings and training sessions through the employer.

If you're wondering what a medical transcriptionist does, here's a breakdown of a transcriptionist's general duties:

  • Transcribing recorded and video dictations with accuracy
  • Maintaining patient privacy and following all HIPAA privacy laws
  • Referencing medical terminology and reference material about medical procedures to ensure generation of accurate reports
  • Distributing transcribed reports via the web or other reporting system
  • Assembling and filing records and charts as needed
  • Maintaining a transcription log
  • Performing quality assurance checks on all reports in a timely manner
  • Backing up records and reports as required
  • Using computer software and tools to create quality and professional reports
  • Learning new computer programs or technology as needed
  • Generating reports on statistical data as needed
  • Creating custom reports for insurance companies and healthcare organizations
  • Communicating with hospitals, doctors and healthcare administration offices as needed
  • Preparing and maintaining vital records and insurance documents
  • Miscellaneous jobs and tasks as assigned

Training to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Take some time to learn about training and education requirements when you find yourself asking, what does a medical transcriptionist do? Many employers who post transcription jobs will also provide detailed job requirements and key responsibilities in the job description.

If you are interested in becoming a medical transcriptionist, you can complete a certification or degree program from an accredited school or training center in your area, or complete your medical transcription training entirely online. Medical transcription training programs can last between six months to two years or more in length, depending on the type of program you are enrolled in and the type of degree you want to obtain. You will need at least two years of work experience before you can sit for the national certification exam and become a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT).